Teach Them Well

Our floor sees a lot of nursing students.  All year long too.  No breaks for summer even.  I love it when they come arrive in the morning, fresh-faced and excited to be “in the hospital“.  I can remember that feeling as well, it wasn’t that long ago that I was one of them.  Relatively speaking.  I hate it too though, because part of me feels like I need to tame their enthusiasm, like their thirst for experience is a bad thing.  I find myself saying in my mind only half-jokingly “Run.  Run far away!”

But most of all I love it when I can present a small pearl of slightly jaded cynical nurse wisdom as I did the other morning.

One of them was asking about a patient assignment.  In a moment of cruelty I had sent her patient to another floor the previous night to make room for a patient that needed heart monitoring.  We were discussing who might be appropriate and I was running through the list of diagnoses on the floor.

“They have pneumonia, that’s a UTI, he’s FOS…”

She looked at me with a quizzical expression, “FOS?”

“Uh,” trying valiantly to find a PC way of putting it then just going for the truth, “Y’know, Full Of Shit.”  The last sotto voce.

“Oh.”  A disappointed look coming over her face.

“No, really,” I said quickly, “He has a colon full of stool, so he is literally full of s….”

Welcome to nursing.  We’re all FOS in one way or another.

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